Chris Wilder admitted his Oxford United team were “really heavy-legged and brain-dead” in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Accrington Stanley at the Kassam Stadium.

It was a third goalless draw in four games for both League Two clubs, who were meeting for the first time.

And the U’s are still looking to break their duck by registering a league win this season.

United’s performance was very different to their heroic effort at West Ham four days earlier.

And although they did improve in the second half, the U’s looked so off the pace in the first.

Wilder was struggling to understand what had gone wrong, especially as Accrington should have been the ones that looked more jaded, since their Carling Cup home game with Newcastle was 24 hours after Oxford’s clash with the Hammers.

“There’s no excuses really because Accrington played Wednesday night,”he said.

“We were just really really leggy – heavy-legged and brain-dead from the off.

“I just thought everybody played in their individual bubbles, they never played as a team. We never looked compact, we were stretched.

“When we did get it, it was sort of ‘well, we’ll let him get on with it and do something with it’. If we’re going to do all right, we can’t have that.

“There’s not many times I’ve said that about us, but today we were second best from the off.

“Even at the end, we had a free-kick and we try to take a short one.

“I thought there were bad decisions all over the park and mentally we were off it, and physically we looked very, very tired.

And that’s a big part of our game that we have good energy levels in our team. It’s something we’re definitely going to have to look at.”

A point leaves United in the bottom half of the table, but the clean sheet was a positive at least.

“I thought we were poor and didn’t deserve to get anything out of the game,” Wilder said.

“It’s been a strange start to the season and the standards have been spot-on, but there were decisions that were poor.

“The forwards never got hold of it, we were poor at anticipating – everything was a reaction. We never got tight and then when we got the ball, we kept giving it away.

“So it was a real head-scratcher for me watching that.

“Even the substitutes that came on never made an impact for us, but we at least got a point, which we won’t turn down, and we know we can play a lot better than that.”

l Match report: Pages 42-43 l More reaction & fan’s view: Page 41